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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why not give God a chance?

It had been a challenging week for me. I felt weary and drained. It had been one of those teaching moments. Once again God showed up and proved His faithfulness. Just like He does every time. 

So why do I give in to doubt and fear? Do I forget so soon? 

Ironically, in the middle of this trial, God showed me a powerful example in His Word. He seems to always point to something in His Word that is relevant to me. He’s good at that. 

When the Ethiopians great army came against Judah, King Asa immediately cried out to the Lord. I so love his prayer in 2 Chronicles 16:

“There is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us Lord our God for we rely on You and in Your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.” 

Don’t you just love his prayer? God responded powerfully to his sincere prayer and thoroughly defeated the mighty Ethiopians. 

Now look ahead ten years at another incident:

King Baasha of Israel threatened Asa. Not exactly catastrophic like the Ethiopian invasion, but still alarming. The situation could percolate into trouble for the King and his people. 

So did he seek the Lord again? Unfortunately no. Instead of relying on God, he “fixed” the problem himself. He bribed the King of Syria to break their covenant with Israel and help him. The King of Syria was only too happy to comply. 

Ben-hadad the king of Syria attacked Israel in the North and conquered some of Israel’s cities. So did the bribe work? In a manner of speaking yes, King Baasha backed down and was not a threat anymore. 

This is what happens sometimes when these not so catastrophic issues pop up. I feel threatened and anxious about the possible troubles that may arise.  The Bible calls them “False imaginations”. 

Instead of seeking God’s face and relying on Him, perhaps I can “fix” the problem. You know, “help” God. Funny how that never turns out good. It sure didn’t work for King Asa. The Syrians proved to be an annoyance in the years to come. 

God sent the Prophet Hanani to speak to Asa. “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the King of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He gave them into your hand. 

For the eyes of the Lord run and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him. 2 Chronicles 16:7-9

In the middle of my challenging week, my husband asked the question, “Why don’t we give God a chance? Let’s pray about this situation. I don’t think we should give up on this.” 

Now don’t get me wrong, I had been praying. But this situation was different. So would it be harder for God? Silly I know. But I can be pretty dense sometimes. 

My husband’s wise words were like a breath of fresh air. We prayed and sought God to intervene. Well...guess what? The Lord showed us the way and He truly intervened on our behalf. No surprise right?

Will we give God an opportunity to intervene?

Will we rely on Him, or just try to work it out in our own strength? 

What great miracles do we miss out on because we refuse to rely on Him? 

I urge you today not to give up on God. He’s looking for someone to believe so He can show Himself strong in their life. Why not be that person?

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Thoughtful Thursdays

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rambling Thursdays

Football is over. Now I am in the cold clutches of winter. There is snow on the ground and more is coming. It's going to be brutally cold the rest of the week. I'm not sugar coating it. I don't like this time of year. 

I've seen around social media lately people sharing the things that help them survive the winter. So for today's blog I will share my own:  

*My bird feeders. I am a bird lover and have many feeders around my house at strategic viewing spots. They truly brighten my day. 

*Coloring. Yes I'm all in the coloring book craze and love it!  

*My office/study.  I love sitting at my desk, gazing out the window at the bird feeder, studying my Bible, writing and reading.  It's become my favorite place in the house. 

*TV. Everyday before I go off to work, I DVR any potential shows and enjoy them at my leisure. I so love DVR. It has totally transformed my TV viewing. 

*Midweek dates. My husband and I have set a Wednesday lunch date. It's been a great way to break up the normal, mundane week. 

*My Bible study group. I am blessed to be a part of a great group of ladies who meet every Thursday. I love the fellowship and digging into the Word. It's been a lifeline. 

All in all, it really hasn't been such a bad winter. But this time of year I really begin to dream of warm, sunny days. I miss sitting on my porch. 

You know, it's just the little, simple things like I've listed above that get you through. I don't need a trip to the Bahama's to survive the winter, (although I wouldn't mind it, don't get me wrong!) 

What about you cold weather people? What gets you through? 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Secrets of an enduring, happy marriage

This Sunday is Valentine's Day and also my anniversary. We will be married 29 years, which seems hard to imagine. I posed a question on my Facebook page asking those who have been married for a long time their secrets. This is what they share:

*Don't bring up past offensives. Don't be a book-keeper. Agape love keeps no record of wrongs.

*Honor and respect each other.

*Don't go to bed mad. Resolve anger, forgive quickly. Resentment can and will develop poisoning your relationship. Agape love is not easily angered.

*Give grace freely. After all you need it too. You've been forgiven of much.

*Make time for each other. Be intentional. Sometimes you even have to fight for what is priceless. It is worth it always.

*Make your spouse feel special, needed. Again, don't you desire the same thing?  Well, he does too.

*Never, ever put them down in front of other people. This is downright ugly and demoralizing.

*Choose battles wisely. You don't have to be right all the time. Sometimes it's best just to drop it.

*Humor is very important. Laughing together is surprisingly intimate.

*The D word should never be mentioned. It's never an option. Unless of course there is abuse. Agape love always preserves through the lean hard times. Marriage is not a sprint, but a marathon.

*Communicate!  Your spouse can't read your mind. I don't care how long you've been married.

*Concentrate on making each other happy, by doing this you'll make yourself happy. Agape love is not self seeking.

*Pray together and for each other.

*Understand that your fulfillment is in Christ alone. Take the pressure off your spouse. They are just a human, not God.

*Be thankful for what God has given you. Learn contentment. The grass is not greener on the other side.